Las Vegas Sun

August 1, 2014

Currently: 90° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Danny Tarkanian’s brother filed bankruptcy in wake of failed real estate deal

Sun Archives

Click to enlarge photo

Danny Tarkanian, candidate for the state's 4th Congressional District, listens to Steven Horsford during a debate at Temple Sinai of Las Vegas in Summerlin Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012. The temple's Men's Club sponsored the debate.

Click to enlarge photo

Lois Tarkanian

Republican congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian’s brother, George Tarkanian, filed bankruptcy this summer after investing with his brother in a failed real estate deal that has resulted in a $17 million judgment against the family.

George Tarkanian, who is suffering serious health problems, listed the $17 million judgment as his largest financial liability in the bankruptcy he filed July 31. But in addition to modest credit card and car loan bills, George Tarkanian also listed significant medical debt in the bankruptcy.

Reached by phone today, Danny Tarkanian declined to comment on his brother’s personal financial situation.

His mother, Las Vegas councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, said George Tarkanian’s bankruptcy is unrelated to the FDIC judgment.

“George has a rare genetic disease,” she said. “It has caused him to not be able to work as much as he could. It has caused him some very heavy medical bills. He is now living with my husband and myself.

“He would have had to (file bankruptcy) anyway.”

In his bankruptcy, George Tarkanian listed about $22,000 in debt outside of the $17 million judgement.

Danny Tarkanian, his brother and parents have been court ordered to pay the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. $17 million as a result of a failed venture to develop an “equestrian destination resort” in Southern California five years ago.

Throughout his congressional campaign, Tarkanian has steadfastly denied the judgment will force him into bankruptcy before the Nov. 6 election, saying he is pursuing settlement options and legal appeals.

But the FDIC has moved to begin seizing the Tarkanian family’s Nevada assets, a move that Danny Tarkanian is fighting.

The FDIC, however, only learned of George Tarkanian’s bankruptcy on Friday and halted its effort to seize George Tarkanian’s assets. In a court document filed Friday, the FDIC made clear that George Tarkanian’s bankruptcy does not prevent the federal agency from pursuing assets from the rest of the family.

“The bankruptcy case results in an immediate, automatic stay of all proceedings affecting the debtor, but not to any other defendant,” lawyer for the FDIC wrote.

Danny Tarkanian has not mentioned his brother’s bankruptcy on the campaign trail. But in an interview with the Sun last week, he acknowledged the $17 million judgment could result in significant financial hardship for his family. He drew a distinction between himself and his family members.

“If a bond is required it could force some members (of my family) to file bankruptcy,” Tarkanian told Sun reporter Karoun Demirjian. “But some members are not all members and they are different than me personally.”

Lois Tarkanian said she and her husband, UNLV coaching legend Jerry Tarkanian, are working to avoid bankruptcy as well.

“Well, I hope not,” Lois Tarkanian said when asked if she would have to file bankruptcy. “I don’t think so. We’re trying not to.

“Anything that we truly owe, I certainly feel we should pay. But they want us to pay millions. That’s stratospheric. Who has that kind of money? We don’t owe what they are saying.”

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 11 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. Not a lawyer, but i was once involved in some bad Real Estate partnership and one partners BK protected me as if i had also filed BK.

  2. Having trouble believing he would have filed BK anyway with only $22k debt listed outside of the $17 Million judgment.

    Who files BK over $22,000?

  3. OMG Lee, the 17 million is debt too. That's why.

  4. This is a new low---even for the Las Vegas Sun

  5. This is starting to smell.

  6. Horrific cheap shot by the Sun to go after George Tarkanian.

  7. The Greenspuns used bankruptcy to get out of their failed Aliante investment.

  8. Danny Tarkanian is a licensed lawyer. Is he incompetent for advising his family on the failed real estate deal? People are going to vote for him because of his name, certainly not his achievements and skills. Why would anyone vote for an incompetent attorney to represent them? Would you hire him to represent you in a real estate deal, let alone represent the State of Nevada in Washington?

  9. $17 million is real money to the middle class.

  10. Joan Respondi,

    Instead of commenting to me read the article.

    The article stated "George Tarkanian's bankruptcy is unrelated to the FDIC judgment." He was going to file even without the $17 Million judgment.

  11. Frankly vegaslee, you don't know what your talking about. It doesn't matter if he was filing for something else, Danny is covered. This is just a hatchet job by the Sun, who were involved in one of the most despicable BK's ever in Nevada. As Mike correctly stated, The Greenspuns used bankruptcy to get out of their failed Aliante investment